Be your own breast friend

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

Hold­ing on to the pink bal­loon along­side a hun­dred or so strangers, I counted to three and then let go. Up into the air my Think Pink bal­loon went and was soon fly­ing high above Dubai.

It was a poignant mo­ment – one when I thought about my best friend’s mother who died of breast can­cer when we were just 15. I’d grown up play­ing in her house, even go­ing on hol­i­day with her, and used to call her my sec­ond mum. She was in­tel­li­gent, funny, kind – and then she found a lump. Her de­cline was so fast, she was bedrid­den within months, and sud­denly I found my­self stand­ing, sob­bing, be­side my best friend, look­ing at her mother’s cof­fin barely able to be­lieve we were say­ing goodbye.

That was years ago and I’m still best friends with the same girl, who now has a child of her own the same age as she was when she lost her mother. She and her daugh­ter check them­selves con­stantly, as do I, but sadly the statis­tics haven’t im­proved much in the decades since then. One woman in eight will be di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer, but sur­vival rates if de­tected early are 98 per cent. And early de­tec­tion can hap­pen – as the Joy­alukkas Think Pink breast can­cer aware­ness pro­gramme I re­leased the bal­loon at re­it­er­ated – if you ex­am­ine your­self monthly and go for reg­u­lar check-ups and mam­mo­grams. So please re­mem­ber – just a few min­utes each month could save your life. En­joy our breast can­cer spe­cial. Un­til next week,

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